Focus on Finance
by President/CEO Larry Zook in conversation with Eric Bender, Vice President of Finance
Landis Homes just finished working on significant bank financing helping to fund the remaining 57 Crossings apartments surrounding the new Learning & Wellness Center. What goes into making this process work from a financial perspective?
Any financing such as we’ve just concluded requires a significant team effort, working with both internal team members and external partners. Multiple Leadership Team members were heavily involved in this process, as well as some department staff. Externally, we have been fortunate to work with excellent partners as financial advisor, bond counsel, independent third-party management consultants, and others, as well as our banking partner, which demonstrated the value it places on the long and continued relationship it has had with Landis Homes. It’s been famously said that banks will lend money to those who can prove they don’t need it. That’s somewhat exaggerated but gets to the point that we must demonstrate the financial strength of both our existing organization and the expanded organization resulting from these projects. Together we have been able to establish both the existing financial strength of Landis Homes and the clear future value of these current and ongoing projects.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities, including Landis Homes, promise to offer care for the remainder of a person’s life, even if their assets are diminished. This creates the need for a significant level of assets to qualify for residency. How does Landis Homes work at being good stewards of the resources of residents?
It’s true we always hold these two goals in tension: providing a permanent, stable home for all residents, including those who may eventually exhaust their resources, and maintaining the overall financial stability of the organization. We infuse the budget process with our guiding value of Stewardship—in budget process discussions, in review of budget proposals, and in eventual approval. We then regularly monitor how we use those resources throughout the year. We also utilize a comprehensive, considered approach to qualifying applicants for residency, and we have strengthened this process in recent years. Although this qualification process can seem financially stringent, it does not eliminate the potential for some residents to eventually deplete their resources. In combination, our approach from both sides enables Landis Homes to maintain a permanent, financially healthy home for all residents.
One of the reasons the Landis Homes Board decided to create Landis Communities in 2011 was in response to the growing need for more affordable senior living options. The mission of this umbrella organization is to provide options for those who either do not have the resources to come to Landis Homes or who prefer other arrangements. How is your department helping the other parts of the organization? What services are you providing?
The Finance Department provides accounting, payroll, financial reporting, financial compliance, and financial analysis for the various entities within Landis Communities. As Landis Communities continues to investigate additional opportunities, such as new affordable housing projects and home-and-community based services, we will assist in evaluations of these opportunities so that Landis Communities can continue to expand its options to those with various levels of resources and interest in other arrangements.